Data economy - data law workshop

Organiser: UPS, Institute of the Information Society
Location: Online - MS Teams
Date: 28 March 2023 (Tuesday) 14:00-17:00


The role of data in the economy and in our daily lives has increased. Machine learning-based artificial intelligences are all "data hungry" and it matters how much, what quality and what kind of data is available. The EU recognised this and in 2020 adopted the European Data Strategy, which aims to facilitate the flow of data and create a common European data space. The document rightly recognises that a well-functioning European data policy that promotes access to data can bring huge benefits in almost all areas of life - from health and education to agriculture and public administration.

But implementing the strategy will be far from easy. On the one hand, no matter how much the relevant documents try to mitigate the problem, the European system of personal data ("the GDPR") is not tuned to this "data as a resource" philosophy. The European rules on personal data protection are based on a completely different paradigm than the new data policy documents. On the other hand, Europe has fallen asleep and let the big US and Chinese platforms collect and store the personal data of European citizens. These big platforms probably know more about the people of Europe than their own governments. Finally, thirdly, European private law is only now beginning to theorise and address the issue of what is simplistically called data ownership: how to strengthen data rights while at the same time ensuring the other two aspects of personal data protection and the free flow of data - but so far we are still in the discussions.

The three strands - personal data protection, the free flow of data in the data economy and data-related rules of private law - will form the three themes of the workshop.

In the first panel, we explore the conflict between data protection and the data economy. How should the relationship between the current data policy instruments (Open Data Directive, Data Governance Act and Data Act) and personal data be conceived? How does the legislator envisage it, and will it work? Is pseudonymisation the solution? How do data protection principles (data economy, purpose limitation) relate to data policy objectives? (Presenters: Katinka Bojnár, Endre Győző Szabó, Zsolt Ződi)

In the second panel we look at the three new EU data rights themselves. What is the imagined relationship between the three standards? What are data intermediaries and how does the legislator think they work in practice? What is data altruism and can it work in practice? (Presenters: Gergely László Szőke, Balázs Hohmann, András Pünkösty) 

Finally, the third panel discusses the private law issues of data ownership. We discuss the current approach of private law to the problem, what the points of contention are, what the positions are, and what the advantages and disadvantages of each are. (Presenters: Lénárd Darázs, Attila Menyhárd, Tamás Gyekiczky) 

During the workshop, invited guests will present their insights on each topic in 10 minutes. A discussion will follow at the end of each block. The workshop will be publicly announced and the public will be able to join in the discussions.


14:00 – 14:05 Welcome speech: Bernát Török (director, UPS Eötvös József Research Centre)

14:05 – 14:30 Data economy vs data protection: irresolvable conflict or peaceful coexistence?
Presentations: Katinka Bojnár (researcher, UPS), Győző Endre Szabó (vice president, NAIH), Zsolt Ződi (senior research fellow, UPS IIS)

14:30 – 14:50 Comments, discussion

14:50 – 15:00 Coffee break

15:00 – 15:30 The pillars and logic of European data law - Open Data Directive, Data Governance Act, Data Act
Presentations: András Pünkösty (research fellow, UPS IIS), Gergely László Szőke (associate professor, University of Pécs, Faculty of Law), Balázs Hohmann (assistant professor, University of Pécs, Faculty of Law)

15:30 – 15:50 Comments, discussion

15:50 – 16:00 Coffee break

16:00 – 16:30 Data in private law - data ownership? 
Presentations: Attila Menyhárd (research professor, UPS IIS), Tamás Gyekiczky (ret. judge, ret. college professor), Lénárd Darázs (professor, ELTE Faculty of Law)

16:30 – 16:50 Comments, discussion

16:50 – 17:00 Final words, summary: Zsolt Ződi (senior research fellow, UPS IIS)